I’m addicted to Miso. Adore it. Would set up a small shrine to it. Red, white, yellow, purple—it doesn’t matter, it’s all worthy. Okay, maybe not purple, but that’s only because I’ve not had any. I’m not sure if anyone even makes purple miso, but if they did, I’d be one of the first in line to try it.
I eat some form of miso (a thick paste made from fermented soybeans and barley or rice malt) nearly every day. Usually, it’s a cup of broth with my lunch in one of myriad flavors: azuki bean, hearty brown rice, golden millet, chickpea barley or dandelion leek–all awesome–all high in protein and teeming with vitamins and minerals. These particular beautifully hand-crafted pastes come from South River, a company in Conway, MA. I purchase them at my local health food store, but they’re available through their web site as well. Of course, there are many other high quality brands available. Finding them is often as easy as visiting the international section of your grocery store.
I also cook with miso. I add the fermented, probiotic rich paste to soups, stews, gravies and marinades. But miso recipes don’t stop there. Funky-minded cooks have experimented with miso in ways I’d wager would make you stop and pause with true curiosity. Creating a sauce to drizzle over ice cream? Yep. Unctuously mixed in with your breakfast porridge? Uh huh. Don’t believe me? Here’s an article loaded with information and chalk full of recipes to boot. (All about Miso)
Halibut in Miso Broth
Two glugs of toasted sesame oil
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
3 spring onions chopped (whites and greens separated)
3 carrots, thinly sliced
1/3 cup mirin
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 cups chicken stock
1/4 cup sweet white miso
1 bunch of cilantro, washed and stemmed (equaling about 1 cup worth)
1 generous glug of toasted sesame oil
4 halibut filets, rinsed and patted dry
Salt & Pepper
Cooked, short grain brown rice
Heat your oil in a sauce pan over a medium flame (or setting). Toss in the ginger, white parts of the spring onions and carrots. Sauté for a few minutes until carrots begin to brown. Add mirin, soy sauce and chicken stock. Bring to a simmer. Add the miso, stirring constantly until it just reaches the simmering point. Stir in your cilantro and the rest of the spring onions, then hold warm.
Heat a large sauté pan with sesame oil over a medium flame and add the salt and pepper seasoned filet, skin side up. Cook for 3 minutes and flip. Cook for a further 2 – 3 minutes checking that fish is fully cooked through.
In a broad soup or pasta bowl, mound a scoop of brown rice into the center, place your halibut filet on top and pour your miso broth all around the outside of the rice and finish with a drizzle on top.
(Yoi shokuji! Or Good eating!)